By Mark Etheridge
in Luanda, Angola
One more gold and bronze medal came Team South Africa’s way on day three of the AUSC African Region 5 Games here on Sunday.
Athletics and netball saw action for the first time and it was the former that delivered SA’s fourth gold medal of the Games after judo had won three on Saturday.
Competing in the discus at the Coqueiros Stadium it was Bloemfontein’s Tharina van der Walt who won the event with an impressive throw of 47.18 metres.
Athletics was only scheduled to start on Monday but organisers saw fit to bring things forward by a day.
Sunday’s bronze came from judo as that code wrapped up their Games. Competing in the team event, Chante Labuschagne, Mosa Thetsane, Byron Grobler and Vernon Henry lost to Angola and then beat Botswana for that code’s eighth medal. Substitutes were Jasmine Martin and Regan Wilson.
The team will now enter a three-day training camp at the Athletes’ Village, conducted by the coaches of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
At the Cidadela Pavilion, venue for both netball and boxing, the former code took on Lesotho while just across the parking lot three of South Africa’s boxers took to the ring.
After each team had rendered an impressive singing of their respective national anthems, the South African netballers were quickly into their stride.
Goal Shooter Danielle Lochner opened the scoring after just 40 seconds, followed quickly by Goal Attack Chantelle Swart (pictured here).
Thereafter it was open season as wave after wave of South African attacks engulfed the hapless Lesotho side.
When the final hooter sounded the scoreboard read 79-3 in SA’s favour – a comprehensive thrashing in whatever language one chooses!
The first quarter ended 21-1, the second 38-2 and the third (South Africa’s most impressive) saw the score at 59-2, with 21 unanswered points by the girls in green and gold.
The last quarter was almost as good with 20 goals to just one. There was a late injury scare for Lochner as she and the net-post made heavy contact and she had to be attended to by team physio Ugendrie Govender. Afterwards she was still limping but confident she’d be back soon, although perhaps not for Monday’s fixture against Zimbabwe.
The young side, almost all of them already finished school, is coached by Jenny van Dyk and managed by former SA player Dumisani Chauke.
Van Dyk was happy after the win, but put things into perspective. ‘Yes we started well, but we must realise that this was not a strong Lesotho side and we made too many unforced errors.
‘We still need our different combinations to settle properly as well as the timing of our moves.
‘But I was quite impressed with our two defenders, Simone Rabie and Jasmine Ziegelmeier and they turned over many balls for us.’
On to the boxing and manager/coach Hannes Britz was all smiles after a consummate performance by his pugilists.
After Saturday’s opening action which saw one win and one loss it was a Sunday of success as all of Siyakholwa Khuse, Ricardo Malajika and Mxolisi Zuma (pictured in red above) won their bouts.
Competing in the light-flyweight (49kg), bantamweight (56kg) and lightweight (60kg) divisions, all three were easy winners.
Khuse beat Botswana’s Bifkang Rakhudu, Malajika overcame Namibia’s Emmanuel Gabriel and Zuma beat Botswana’s Tshepo Mbwe. All three by handsome 3-0 margins at a rowdy venue.
Said Britz: ‘It was a good day at the office for us. All of our guys boxed to instructions and it paid off.
’Siyakholwa’s fight was the fight of the day, all-action and great boxing. And Mxolisi rounded off our day with a very strong performance as well. Now we just have one boxer [Uyanda Nogogo] who hasn’t fought yet and he’ll fight tomorrow.’
Pictures courtesy of Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images